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A boat on display in Clare contends that St. Brendan (6th.C) could have been the first person to discover America.

Within the Craggaunowen Visitor Centre is a boat used by historian Tim Severin in 1976 to traverse the Atlantic Ocean.

 Tim and four crew members undertook the voyage in an effort to prove that St. Brendan and his crew of monks were capable of discovering America five hundred years before Columbus. Brendan was born around 484 AD at Church Hill, on the north shore of Tralee Bay in Co Kerry, Ireland.

The boat was made entirely of leather, the purpose being that only tools available to a sixth century monk were to be used.

The journey began in Brandon, County Kerry in 1976 as they pushed on across the Atlantic Ocean by the Aran Islands in 1976.

A year and 4,500 miles later led them to Peckford Island, Newfoundland on June 26th, 1977.

Proclaimed as the ‘Brendan Voyage’, the boat is exhibited by the Shannon Heritage at the Craggaunowen Visitor Centre in County Clare. 

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